June Border Numbers Show Border Crisis Remains and Reveal How Aliens are Released into the U.S.
FAIR Take | July 2023
Encounters of illegal aliens by the Border Patrol at the Southwest Border were down in June, but only because the Biden Administration has invented other means of allowing large numbers of inadmissible aliens to enter the country. While Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data highlights a decline in the number of people entering between ports of entry along the southern border, the number of encounters nationwide remained an unacceptably high 211,575 last month, or more than 7,000 per day. Under the highest year of the Trump Administration, in 2019, average monthly encounters were 95,668, or roughly 3,100 per day.
Upon the release of the June numbers, the Biden Administration continued the false narrative that its efforts were driving down a surge at the border. “Our sustained efforts to enforce consequences under our longstanding Title 8 authorities, combined with expanding access to lawful pathways and processes, have driven the number of migrant encounters along the Southwest border to their lowest levels in more than two years. We will remain vigilant,” said Troy A. Miller, CBP Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Commissioner.
The Biden Administration can hardly claim success. As FAIR has pointed out, the Biden administration is playing a complicated, intentional shell game where they have shifted the crisis from between the Ports of Entry (POEs), to the POEs themselves.
Another key finding in the numbers released yesterday is the rate at which CBP is releasing aliens encountered at the Southwest Border and not referring them to its sister agency, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). When an alien is referred to ICE, the agency makes a determination on whether the alien should be detained or enrolled in an Alternative to Detention (ATD) program.
During the three months of April, May, and June, the Border Patrol directly released a record number of aliens without referring them to ICE. In total, over 170,400 aliens were given Notices to Appear by the Border Patrol and then released on their own recognizance (NTA/OR). These high numbers are concerning given the inability of the government (particularly ICE) to track the aliens upon release.
Source CBP Newsroom
Immediately prior to the termination of Title 42 in May, the Border Patrol was also releasing aliens on parole with a requirement to check in with ICE within 60 days of their release to receive a Notice to Appear (NTA) in immigration court. As FAIR has pointed out, the Administration was using this “parole with conditions” process to bypass federal law that requires detention of illegal aliens arriving at the southern border and to bypass the restrictions set forth in the parole statute, which allows parole only to be given on a case-by-case basis. Thankfully, a federal court in Florida halted the program within days of its inception.
Yesterday, DHS filed paperwork in court admitting that 40% of catch-and-release migrants never checked in with ICE. According to the court record, DHS revealed that more than 2,500 illegal aliens were released after the judge issued a restraining order enjoining the process, and only 1,065 checked-in with ICE to receive their NTA, or court summons. In total, only 18% were given an NTA to appear in court.
Even worse, when U.S. District Judge T. Kent Wetherell expressed concern over whether anything would be done to track down aliens who had violated the terms of their parole, DHS “officials said they [weren’t] sure whether they [would] try to punish the rulebreakers.” These new reports and internal documents shine a light on the noncompliance of illegal aliens and the unwillingness of the Biden Administration to do anything about it.
In conclusion, the border crisis remains. The Biden Administration is finding other ways to allow people into the country, using parole authority unlawfully and releasing illegal aliens on their own recognizance. And, there are no plans to address the situation. As a result, today there are thousands of illegal aliens at large in the United States, and there is little effort to apprehend, detain, monitor, and deport them.